Book Review: Greenpeace Captain by Peter Willcox and Ronald Weiss
Greenpeace “defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse, and championing responsible solutions for our fragile environment.”
In over 30 years as a senior captain for Greenpeace International, Peter Willcox has been in the vanguard of the international environmentalist movement. He has led crews into battle for the good of the planet against whale killers, nuclear testing sites and deep sea drillers. The recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Guardian, Peter has confronted naval warships, including diving in front of a moving destroyer; faced a bombing attack of the iconic Rainbow Warrior, resulting in the murder of a shipmate; and endured imprisonment for peacefully protesting Russian oil drilling in Antarctica along with his crew. This is his story.
Peter Willcox was brought up in a family where “civil rights was a very big deal.” “Greenpeace Captain” is his compelling memoir of life as a senior captain for Greenpeace International for more than 40 years.
It begins with the sinking of “The Rainbow Warrior” on July 10, 1985 at Marsden Wharf, Auckland, New Zealand, before outlining the subsequent investigations which led to the charging of two French intelligence agents for arson, conspiracy to commit arson, wilful damage, and murder.
There are many inspiring stories throughout the book, including a humanitarian mission to evacuate Rongelap in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific Ocean.
On 1 March 1954, the islanders witnessed the most powerful thermonuclear weapons test the United States has ever conducted on Bikini Island. “White flakes began to fall on Rongelap, coating the entire atoll and the waters around it with more than an inch of “snow”.”
In 1987, the author was assigned to the ship M/V Sirius, and members of his crew boarded Vulcanus 11 which had been incinerating toxic waste in the North Sea. The emissions included deadly dioxin. Thankfully, the actions of Greenpeace and others led to a ban of all incineration of toxic waste in the North Sea.
Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.
She lives in Donegal, Ireland – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Categories: Book Reviews